Accountability: MSNBC’s Joy Reid has found herself in hot water over politically incorrect blog posts she apparently wrote more than a decade ago. We couldn’t care less about that. But her highly dubious claim that her old blog was hacked is important. If she’s lying, she has no business being a journalist.
Back in December, Reid apologized when some of her old writings on a long-defunct blog surfaced, in which she repeatedly used homophobic slurs about Gov. Charlie Crist. In her apology, Reid said she was just trying to “call out potential hypocrisy” of Crist, but nevertheless said her comments were “insensitive, tone deaf and dumb”
This week, however, the same cybersleuth exposed many other decade-old Reid posts from the same blog, all of them in one way or another mocking gays, same-sex marriage, transgenderism — none of which Reid could brush off as “calling out hypocrisy” about a Republican.
But instead of apologizing for these new revelations, Reid claimed this new batch of homophobic blog posts were doctored up phonies. According to claims made by Reid and her attorney, they’d either been Photoshopped or her blog was hacked.
As far as we are concerned, what Reid wrote 10 years ago when she was a relatively unknown journalist in Florida is immaterial. She’s said worse things since becoming a national fixture at MSNBC (none of which landed her in hot water with her network). A small sampling:
- After President Trump won the election, Reid declared that rural Americans are “the core threat to our democracy.”
- She attacked Rep. Steve Scalise while he was fighting for his life after being shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter.
- Reid falsely claimed that Trump was hiring minority actors for his rally in Phoenix, Ariz.
- She dismissed the murderous MS-13 as “a gang that nobody who doesn’t watch Fox News has ever heard of.”
- She once viciously attacked National Review’s David French based on a quote she entirely made up.
- She mocked a White House advisor with a crude Nazi joke, tweeting: “When you get fired on vacation and Kelly yanks your temporary security clearance before you can get back. #Gorked#DidNaziThatComing“
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What matters isn’t what she wrote as a Florida blogger, but the dubious things she’s saying about those posts now. By denying authorship, she’s opened herself up to the charge of lying, or worse.
Her lawyer’s Photoshop claim, for example, was easily disproved when the same posts showed up on other archives, one of them at the Library of Congress.
The hacking claim is also highly unlikely.
The Internet Archive, which repeatedly crawls Web pages and stores snapshots, says it found no evidence that anyone tampered with its archive. “At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities,” it said.
According to computer scientist Michael Nelson, that means the hacker “would have had to hack multiple web archives and alter their contents.”
That leaves the equally implausible alternative: That someone hacked Reid’s blog at the time she was writing it more than a decade ago. And that she was totally unaware of these wholesale alterations at the time.
Even liberal journalists are having a hard time swallowing this. Writing in the Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal says that “the evidence is not with Joy Reid.” The Daily Beast announced Thursday that it was suspending her column. And a prominent LBGT group rescinded a media award after the new blog posts emerged.
Nevertheless, Reid sticks to her hacking story, while her lawyer says the FBI is investigating “potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts.”
So to sum up:
Either Reid is telling the truth, despite her shifting and increasingly incredulous claims. Or she has flat out lied to the public and — as a bonus — is now wasting FBI resources. Or maybe she’s delusional about her own past views and writings.
If turns out that she lied to protect her left-wing reputation, MSNBC should show her the door. If she knowingly diverted FBI resources to investigate a bogus hacking claim, she should face legal consequences.
Either way, the network and the liberal press can’t let Reid brush this under the rug.
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